DEFRA proposes abolition of Noise Abatement Zones

A consultation published this month by the Department for Environmental Food and Rural Affairs is seeking views as to the abolition of all existing Noise Abatement Zones and the prevention of new ones from being established.

The provisions, which are contained in sections 63 to 67 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974, allow local authorities to designate areas where sound levels are established for classified premises within chosen zones and then used as reference levels for the control of noise in that area. DEFRA say that the powers have been little used since they were introduced nearly 40 years ago and it is believed that only two Noise Abatement Zones are currently in active use, both covering a single premises.

As part of the Government’s Red Tape Challenge, the Government is reviewing unnecessary legislation and believe that repealing the relevant sections of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 would save local authorities time and money, as they would not have to formally revoke any Noise Abatement Zones that are no longer in use. Few local authorities are affected, so the savings are relatively small but repeal may also benefit premises covered by these ‘inactive’ Noise Abatement Zones, as abolishing them would remove any confusion over their status.

The full consultation can be found on the DEFRA web site at

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